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Bulletin 73—Petroleum developments in New Mexico during 1959

By R. W. Foster, R. A. Bieberman, R. R. Chaves, and G. K. Niccum, 1961, 169 pp, 12 tables.

Included in this series are Circulars 22, 30, 45, 61, 88, and 109. Includes subsurface completion data for wells drilled in 1959 and index to samples received in library at Socorro during the period 1958–1959. Petroleum is the most important mineral industry in NM, providing slightly over 70% of the total value of all minerals produced in the state. The 1959 production of crude oil and distillate amounted to 104,946,969 barrels, an increase of almost 6.5 million barrels over the previous record high production of 98,514,926 barrels, set in 1958. Production of natural gas totaled 743,040,175,000 ft3, an increase of about 12 billion ft3 over the previous record high year of 1958, when 726,236,763,000 ft3 was produced. NM ranks 7th in the production of crude oil and 3rd in the production of natural gas in the U.S.  

Wells completed during the year numbered 2,103, an increase of 284 tests over 1958. The total footage drilled in the state increased only slightly to 8,724,066 ft in 1959, compared with 8,453,268 ft in 1958. The average depth per well decreased from 4,647 ft in 1958 to 4,148 ft in 1959.

Because of the importance of the petroleum industry to the continued growth of NM, the NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral resources, in addition to its geologic program, which aids in the exploration for new reserves of oil and gas, also maintains as complete records as possible on all wells drilled in the state. Although this material is preserved primarily for the benefit of those engaged in the exploration for oil and gas, it has become increasingly valuable in the study of geology of NM and thus is of inestimable aid in the exploration for other minerals, such as uranium, salt, potash, and water.

The first section of this bulletin consists of a summary of the drilling and production statistics for the year 1959. It includes data only from those wells completed during the year that were drilled for the purpose of discovering new reserves of petroleum, or the extensions or development of preexisting producing areas. Not included are injection wells drilled for secondary operations or wells that had been completed prior to 1959 but were deepened or worked over in 1959, except where additional work has resulted in new discoveries. In the latter case, pertinent wells have been listed in a separate table but, as noted, have not been included in the statistical data on drilling.

Part II contains a list of the wells completed during 1959, and for each well, where appropriate, such additional data as elevation, total depth, top of pay, initial production, treatment, and size and depth of the oil string. In the previous circulars published on subsurface completion data, the wells were listed by county, classification, and finally in alphabetical order by company and lease. In some respects, this was inadequate because it was difficult to find a particular well unless the pool name was known. In the present report, the wells are listed by county and then by section, township, and range, making it necessary only to know the location of the well in order to find its completion data.

Part III is a list of the wells for which cuttings were received at the NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources during the period from January 1, 1958 to January 1, 1960. This section is a supplement to NM Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources' Circular 30 and to Circular 45.

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